My Brightest Diamond – [Live]

Tuesday, 02 February 2010

I saw My Brightest Diamond a year ago in the Hotel Café with a crowd of about fifty people, which turned out to be a very nice and decidedly indie-urban-outfitters-flannel-shirt-wearing kind of night. This was kind of the same thing except with more like seven hundred people dressed like that.

So this is how it went down: when the band came out they were all wearing black and white and the stage was set with ladders and balloons that were white and there were strobe lights going off and the band just came out and threw a bunch of white confetti on the crowd. And Shara Worden looked very good—because I have a huge crush on her—though at the time I had mixed feelings about her tight silver spandex pants that definitely channeled Karen O or Emily Haines.

I got over it.

The band pulled out an expansive setlist that included a bunch from Bring Me The Workhorse and A Thousand Shark's Teeth, not to mention four covers: "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" by Prince, something French that I can't pronounce or understand because I'm American by Edith Piaf, "Tainted Love" which is actually a cover of Soft Cell covering someone nobody cares about, and that Nina Simone song that everyone likes so much.

Highlights of the show: you can't beat two encores—especially if one is just Shara Worden playing a ukulele. During "From The Top of the World," Worden started soloing and getting down with her guitar which—for the petite singer/songwriter (not to mention the subdued tenor of the song)—was wholly unexpected and welcomed by everyone, skinny jeans or no. Let's just say that, before the show started, when an elderly clown-like woman came out and started fashioning balloon animals, balloon swords, balloon flowers, hats, and poodles, I suspected the evening would be a little cuter than I'm used to.

That's not to say that there wasn't a fair amount of cuteness, Shara's cuteness excluded (because she is very cute and can marry me if she wants to). In the middle of the show all the lights went down as Shara told the story of a boy named Diamond who rides on the back of the North Wind knocking trees over, hats of people's heads, or some nonsense like that. Frankly, I want her to read me to sleep. I want her to read our children to sleep, too, but that's a side not.

At one point she attempted to inhale an entire helium balloon before singing a song, apparently to appease some bet with a guy she knew or something, which would have been hilarious, her delicate voice, which can already hit some pretty astoundingly high notes, popped up one octave or so effectively annoying the crap out of everyone; that is, if it had worked. Which it didn't.

But she made up for that by following up that song with a drum/bass solo during which she put her guitar down and danced around the stage like a fool, shiny pants glinting light all around the ballroom; she was like a shimmering slow-motion leg-tornado that I wanted to be in. She apparently didn't anticipate, however, the energy that is required to turn on everybody in the Bowery Ballroom, as immediately after the song's end she keeled over, panting and all out of breath and asking politely for a moment from the crowd while she regained her composure or sorted out her life or something.

Suffice it to say I think Shara may have pulled out a couple stops being that for the past few months she's been on the road with The Decemberists which sounds like a year long trip to the special collections ward of the worst library ever. But compared to the string quartet version a year ago this was like sticking your dick in a toaster, but in a good way. Can I say dick on the internet? I don't know. But if you like the smell of warm toasty dick but in a good way check the show out.


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